Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Jan 2012 23:53 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes The last few weeks there's been a considerable amount of chatter on the web about whether or not a news website, blog, or some hybrid thereof, needs comments. Since we are working on the next version of OSNews, which means I've been thinking about things like this a lot, I figured I'd pen down my thoughts on comments.
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Suggestion for comment engine
by odegard on Wed 11th Jan 2012 09:38 UTC
Member since:

I've been a reader for many years, haven't felt the need to comment before now.

#1 If SPAM is the target, and different opinions the victim og the current system, I believe this can solved be shifting the cost of casting a down vote and an up vote. You wouldn't waste an expensive down vote trying to sink a competing opinion when other readers easily can lift it up again.

Now the problem is, why would you waste en expensive down vote on spam? Well, perhaps the comment engine can do some math... if there are 99% down votes and 1% up vote, it's spam and all down voters are reimbursed.

#2 I don't mind the patent news either.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:

The biggest problem is not the voting. The system and its algorithms are smart enough as it is to even deal with systematic downvoting of a single user; ask kaiwai. He was being downvoted systematically by a group of people for no reason. Obviously, he wasn't happy about this, so in the end, we banned the responsible accounts and fixed it.

Interestingly enough, though, it didn't affect his stats at all, because the system realised what was going on. It was pretty impressive to see.

The biggest issue is not up or downvoting, but the fact that people attach a value to the comment score. Individual comment scores mean nothing, which is why we've toyed with the idea of hiding it altogether (and possibly using other means to indicate comment quality). A few downvotes means fcuk all, but because of the score we display, people assume it's ravaging their standing if they get a few (understandable, since the score is there for all to see). However, it means nothing. The system is smarter than that.

Edited 2012-01-11 09:48 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

ricegf Member since:

FWIW, I like seeing the scores. Probably the math nerd in me.

I generally expand hidden messages, too, for the same reason I slow down to look at a car wreck - but I like the action of expanding a hidden comment as well.


Reply Parent Score: 6

earksiinni Member since:

Sometimes I enjoy the comment scores precisely because of their unfairness.

I get downvoted into oblivion sometimes, especially when I make an ironic jest that gets idiotically interpreted as an attempt at trolling. I also remember once submitting an (admittedly premature) article on this site relating to my research that got blasted to bits by people who didn't have the time or desire to read what I had written carefully (or click "page 2").

In complete seriousness--honestly, no sarcasm--I like that kind of feedback. It shows me 1) what to expect at a "gut level" from a highly educated very technical audience, and 2) how to write better comments and articles that will get through to that audience. Life isn't fair, and I would be afraid that with a "fairer" comment system that I wouldn't get that kind of insight. I learn just as much from the ignorant replies here as from the brilliant ones.

Reply Parent Score: 3